Refugee Health Screening, Referrals
The health history and physical examination is performed by a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or public health nurse certified for Kan-B-Healthy (EPSDT). Referrals for medical care are made to local physicians, clinics and specialty services (i.e., dentist, optometrist, etc.) for definitive diagnosis and treatment. The components of the screening are:
- a health history that includes recent symptoms of illness, general health history, for women, an OB/GYN. review, and for children, a review of birth and childhood diseases.
- laboratory and screening including: TB skin test, hemoglobin/hematocrit, urinalysis (dip sticks that includes glucose, blood leukocytes/nitrates), ova/parasites, Hepatitis B. (HbsAg), hearing, and vision.
- physical examination performed by a physician, physician assistant, a nurse practitioner or a public health nurse certified for Kan B Healthy that includes weight, height, blood pressure(five years and older) and general physical (including gross dental evaluation, EENT, heart, lung, abdominal, skin) and other age/sex appropriate evaluations (i.e., breast exams, inguinal hernia, pap smears, scoliosis, etc.).
- immunizations, including history of past immunization, administration of vaccinations, education and outlining of vaccinations schedules as appropriate for age.
- referrals into community primary and public health care services for treatment and follow-up.
- education about the availability of health services, expectations, and appropriate utilization.
An orientation to the health care system and basic health information is provided during the screening. On the first visit, each refugee family is encouraged to go to the local SRS office to apply for Medicaid if not previously done. It usually takes three clinic visits to complete all the testing, immunizations, physical examination, and follow-up care in the health department.
Health care providers can refer to Health Care for Immigrants: Evaluating New Arrivals and Addressing Health Disparities – download slides for more indepth information on health assessments for refugees.